The civil war in Syria have produced tragic statistics, with more than a quarter of a million dead and over 13.5 million forced to flee from their homes in Syria. Among those who were displaced have sought refuge beyond Syria’s borders, the majority in neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.
Qudra 2 seeks to strengthen the resilience of refugees, returnees, internally displaced people (IDPs) and members of host communities in these countries through its work in four key components selected according to the needs of each respective country:
- Education and protection
- Employment promotion and income generation,
- Local governmental institutions and civil society organisations,
- Social cohesion as a cross-cutting component.
Qudra 2 in Iraq
Protracted conflict in Iraq has caused large-scale internal displacement, with the UNHCR registering approximately 1,200,000 internally displaced persons, 4,900,000 returnees and 250,000 Syrian refugees (as of June 2021). 13% of IDPs and returnee households are female-headed and face a high risk of gender-based violence.
In Iraq, the Qudra 2 programme promotes the wellbeing and self-development of children and vulnerable adults, employment and income opportunities, and transparent and inclusive services. Throughout all its components, the programme promotes community cohesion among refugees, IDPs, and returnees. Its priority is to assist children, youth, women, and other vulnerable groups.
Qudra 2 is implemented in Central Iraq (Anbar, Nineveh, and Salah Al-Din) and all four governorates of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq-KRI (Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah, and Halabja).
1. Promoting self-development and the well-being of children and vulnerable adults
Qudra 2 supports specialist and community-based care for those who need expert help to overcome their experiences. In cooperation with the Ministry of Health, health personnel receive specialised training in Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) to enable them to provide the support required by Iraqi returnees, IDPs, Syrian refugees and host communities. Community-based psychosocial care is supported for the heavily conflict-affected communities of West-Mosul.
2. Employment and income opportunities for the most vulnerable
Despite its oil wealth, Iraq lacks economic and employment opportunities, especially for young people and women. The consequences of violent conflict and a weak private sector make it difficult for people to find jobs or set up a business. Qudra 2 provides vulnerable community members looking to enter the labour market with training, and start-up support, small grants, and infrastructure investments for entrepreneurs wishing to start their own businesses. Public-private sector cooperation is facilitated to align the needs of job-seekers and small to medium businesses with the requirements of the labour market and economy.
In KRI, cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs resulted in 1 000 youths participating in on-site, on-the-job training organised by private companies. This collaboration effectively resulted in the employment of more than 500 youths.
In the agricultural sector, Qudra 2 rehabilitates infrastructure, such as irrigation canals, to catalyse economic activity and employment. Equipment and training are provided to ensure that productivity is increased, and in Central Iraq, local NGO partners train resident youth seeking employment in this sector.
3. Transparent and Inclusive Basic Services
Electricity, clean water, safe roads, and other basic services provide a sound foundation for productive economies, personal dignity, and social cohesion. Qudra 2’s Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) support local governments to address the most critical gaps in public services. A rigorous and transparent selection process is used to identify the priorities of local communities.
The programme also strengthens the capacity of local governments to deliver transparent and inclusive services to local communities. Civil society organisations are supported to promote social cohesion through community-based action, which has resulted in local communities setting up community gardens or small libraries.
4. Fostering dialogue for exchange and innovation
Action-oriented dialogue among different groups, seeking to foster social cohesion, complements other programme activities.
Note: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges faced in all aspects of life in Iraq. The Qudra 2 programme adapted to incorporate flexible and relevant interventions to assist people affected by the virus. Qudra 2 and its partners facilitated health, hygiene, psychosocial support (PSS), protection and awareness-raising activities, and access to employment and essential services that directly address the pandemic and its long-term effects.
Qudra 2 in Jordan
Jordan currently hosts 1.3 million Syrians, only half of whom are officially registered with UNHCR (670,238). 80% of refugee
households live below the poverty line, and 48% of refugees are children. This has heavily impacted Jordan´s ability to deliver quality services to everyone in the host communities, and especially for ensuring access to key public services such as education and municipal amenities. The countries’ labour market is struggling to absorb this surge in the workforce and the resultant increase in competition, especially in the informal sector, which is escalating social tensions.
The programme pays special attention to children, youth, women and other population groups that are particularly vulnerable, such as the elderly and disabled, and aims to achieve its objectives while assisting all Jordanian stakeholders.
1. Promoting improvements in facility management and the provision of transport to educational facilities, and supporting learning and exchange formats for children and youth
Structural barriers in Jordan’s educational system include children doing double shifts in schools, language barriers, vandalism, and the lack of secure and affordable school transport. Qudra 2 will target major challenges in the education sector and increase
access to quality education services by developing an improved school transport system and a sustainable facility management
system to enhance the learning environment for everyone. Children and youth will be offered structured extracurricular sports and cultural activities to foster quality education and social cohesion.
2. Providing access to employment opportunities and skills development for semi-skilled workers
Qudra 2 will focus on employment promotion to increase the number of youth and adults who acquire demand-driven vocational and technical skills, and support them with improved access to employment opportunities. In this regard, Syrian refugees and vulnerable members of host communities will be supported in obtaining certification as skilled workers or craftsmen, and will also benefit from labour market services aimed at supporting and promoting effective job matching. As part of providing skills development, Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian youth will be enrolled in VET-WBL (Work-Based Learning) initiatives at the semi-skilled level, allowing them to gain hands-on experience in practical skills.
3. Providing a grant scheme for participatory community support projects and strengthening capacities of governmental institutions & civil society actors at organisational and individual levels
Qudra 2 will focus on service-related community support projects that directly address people’s needs and improve the living
conditions of vulnerable Syrian and Jordanian members of the community. A participatory grant scheme will be established to
provide funding for service-related community support projects that are proposed and initiated through partnerships between
municipalities and civil society organisations. Municipalities with strong planning and management systems will be awarded direct funding, while grants to weaker municipalities will be linked to capacity development measures. Since civil society actors are both stakeholders and agents of change, they will be supported through trainings that include topics relating to social cohesion.
4. Fostering dialogue for exchange and innovation, promoting production, and disseminating accurate information
One of the challenges of the protracted displacement is how to foster community cohesion and mitigate rising social tensions between refugees, IDPs, returnees and host communities, especially in urban contexts. Qudra 2 supports activities to
promote dialogue by providing safe spaces for exchange and innovation that involve diverse groups of stakeholders
and participants. The programme’s target groups and other stakeholders will be engaged in dialogue tables, exchange
formats and working group sessions to enhance community cohesion, to build the future of Syria.
Accurate information will be produced and disseminated to the target audience through outreach programs, information
campaigns, and/or awareness-raising sessions.
Qudra 2 in Lebanon
Lebanon, a country of 6 million, hosts around 1,5 million displaced Syrians, Lebanon continues to host the highest number of displaced persons per capita in the world. The protracted Syria crisis has significantly affected Lebanon’s social stability and economic growth, causing tensions, poverty and humanitarian needs, while pre-existing development constraints in the country have been exacerbated. The lack of access to basic social services, protection and livelihood opportunities, among the displaced population and the host community, has increased the vulnerabilities of already-impoverished families.
Protection of children, women and other vulnerable populations, both Lebanese and refugees, has been at stake in Lebanon for years. Child labour remains a concern, with nearly 7 % of Syrian refugee children aged 5 to 17 reportedly working, and 2 to 6 % among the most vulnerable Lebanese. Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) remains one of the main protection concerns affecting Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian women and girls.
Qudra in Lebanon, aims to strengthen existing national protection systems and address the needs of all those affected by the r-protracted crisis and its impact on the Lebanese community. This includes fostering a favourable protection environment where rights are respected and fulfilled through;
1. Strengthening service delivery capacity and local and national protection systems
Qudra 2 will support Ministry of Social Affairs at national, regional and local levels (Support Development Centres – SDCs) in further development of the New Strategic Plan for child protection (CP) and gender-based violence (GBV) aiming at girls, boys and women at risk and survivors of violence, exploiation and abuse have access to an improved and equitable prevention and response.
2. Promoting protection measures for the self-development and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults
Qudra 2 will provide primary and secondary prevention (awareness sessions and psychosocial support – PSS) and tertiary prevention (case management). Programme will consolidate the protection/ CP activities implemented under Qudra 1 in the 8 selected SDCs and increase their outreach to enhance the resilience and wellbeing of vulnerable populations with focus on children and women, both Lebanese and Syrians, as well as will ensure protection of vulnerable individuals, especially people at risk of SGBV, persons with specific needs, disabled, youth, single mother, children and elderlies.
Qudra 2 in Turkey
Turkey is currently hosting 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees, which accounts for nearly two thirds of all refugees registered in the region. Over 90% of these refugees live in local communities. As a result, the local government units (LGUs) which provide services such as health, education and social services are facing significant challenges in meeting the increasing demands of the population.
Qudra’s work with refugees and Turkish host communities focuses mainly on strengthening the capacities of local governmental institutions to deliver their services in a transparent and inclusive manner through;
1.Providing a grant scheme for participatory and inclusive community support projects
Qudra 2 will provide small grants to at least 10 Turkish municipalities which host the largest number of refugees, who in some cases, account for over 25% of the population. At least 100,00 individuals will directly benefit from improvements in basic services and infrastructure, which will contribute to enhanced living conditions and social cohesion amongst approximately five million community members. Inclusion as a guiding principle will ensure that refugees and host community representatives will be involved throughout the assessment, planning and implementation of these projects.
2. Strengthening exchange amongst and between local governmental units (LGUs) and other stakeholders
The programme will support exchange between local government units to foster peer to peer learning. Exchange with community members will ensure their inclusion in the planning and implementation of support projects. Best practices will be identified and shared between LGUs, civil society actors and academia. This exchange of experiences and innovations for improved service delivery will be shared at the provincial, national, cross-regional and international level.
3. Strengthening the capacities of governmental organisations
Qudra 2 will provide tailored technical support to selected municipalities such as trainings in needs assessment, strategic and goal-oriented planning, the implementation of investment and the provision of services which will enhance the capacities of at least 250 local government officials and other community stakeholders.
4. Fostering dialogue for social cohesion exchange and innovation
A growing challenge in the mainly urban context of refugees is rising social tension, which weakens social cohesion and reduces the resilience of communities in the face of crisis. Qudra 2 will directly address this challenge by facilitating dialogue and providing safe spaces where open exchange between groups of stakeholders and participants will promote community cohesion.
Qudra will give special attention throughout the programme to children, youth, women and other highly vulnerable population groups, such as elderly and the disabled.